Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seared Scallops with Crab Buerre Blanc

Grabbed some scallops at the store and came home to make dinner.   After peering in the frig for a few minutes I spied a can of crab and thought I'd create a crab infused buerre blanc to top those lovely little seared sea gems.   Placed on a bed of greens, we had the perfect dinner!

Seared Scallops with Crab Buerre Blanc

  • 1 lb scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced finely
  • 8 oz white wine
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 T heavy cream
  • 12 T cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley
Directions:  Start by making the buerre blanc.  In a small pan over high heat add shallots, wine and lemon juice and reduce till it's about 2 tablespoons.   Add the cream and as soon as it starts to bubble, turn the heat to low.   Add the butter 1 knob at a time, whisking to incorporate, until it's all gone.   Remove from heat, add crab, salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.

Rinse all grit from scallops and pat dry.  If scallops are wet, the olive oil will pop.   In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil on high.   You want to get a good sear or crust on the scallops so make sure the oil is hot and the scallops are dry. Season with salt and pepper and place into the pan and leave undisturbed for 2 - 3 minutes, then turn and cook an additional 2 minutes.   Transfer to paper towels to drain.

To plate, start with fresh salad, scallops then top each scallop with a spoonful of the crab buerre blanc.  I finished with parsley and fresh cracked pepper.   Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Amazing Roasted Pumpkin Bread - it's healthy too!

I have been asked by Weight Watchers® to do a cooking demonstration at the grand opening of their new Round Rock facility.   In addition, they asked if I could come up with some new recipes that are healthy and Weight Watcher® Points Plus friendly.   I love heading into the kitchen to create something brand new and this pumpkin bread is great.   To make it a bit more "kid friendly" I made a brown butter glaze and served it on the side to my daughter, who gobbled it up.

Roasted Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 medium pumpkin, quartered, seeded and roasted, flesh removed (about 15 oz - or used canned)
  • 1/2 C fat free egg substitute
  • 1/2 C Truvia sweetener
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 C Whole Wheat flour
  • 1/2 C Oat bran flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 C uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/2 C golden raisins
Directions:   Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray bottom of loaf pan with baking spray.   In a large bowl, beat eggs substitute with roasted pumpkin flesh, then add sugars, vanilla and spices.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, powder and salt and mix well.   Add about 1/2 C flour mixture to egg/pumpkin mixture, combining well, then adding additional flour mixture until it's all incorporated.  

Mix in oatmeal and golden raisins and turn out into loaf pan.  

Bake for 50 minutes.   Note that bread will still be moist in the center but fully cooked.   A loaf will provide 12 slices.

Brown Butter Glaze:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 C confectioners sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2-4 T milk
Directions:  Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour butter into a bowl, leaving sediment behind.   Add sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to butter, and stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. Drizzle over a slice of the Roasted Pumpkin Bread.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tarte Normande

Had such a wonderful time with the participants at my Apples Everywhere Food Demo at Faraday's Kitchen Store in Lakeway.   I showcased three of my signature apple desserts, had different apple varieties to taste and gave away fabulous door prizes.   A huge thank you to Tony, Sharon and Blakely from Faraday's who are always gracious hosts and have a wonderful kitchen.

As promised, here is the Tarte Normande recipe that I needed to upload onto my website.   This is a very traditional French tarte that at the demo I topped with unsweetened whipped cream.   Growing up in England I have learned that the Europeans do not sweeten their whipped cream on a normal basis.   I actually love it this way as you are able to fully enjoy the taste of the apples and Calvados custard.

Hope you are able to re-create this and enjoy in your home with your family and friends.

Tarte Normande

  • Tart Crust (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 3/4 C heavy cream
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 4 T Calvados Apple Brandy
  • confectioners sugar
 Pate Brisee Ingredients:
  •  2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 lb cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 C ice water
Directions:   Put flour and salt into food processor.   Add pieces of butter and pulse for about 10 seconds each time until the mixture resembles  coarse meal.   Add ice water, a little bit at a time, until the dough holds together but is not sticky.   Turn dough out onto plastic wrap and form a disk for easier rolling, wrap and place in refrigerator for about an hour.

Lightly spray tart pan with cooking spray.  On lightly floured board, roll out pastry to a 1/8th thickness and press into the pan.   Trim the edges by running your rolling pin over the top.   Poke the pastry with a fork and bake blind (lined with foil and weighted by dried beans) for 12 minutes.

Mix the apple slices with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and arrange in concentric circles in the tart crust.   Bake for 20 minutes or until the apples begin to color.   While that is baking, begin the custard by beating the egg and sugar until thick and pale yellow.   Add the flour and beat until smooth.   Next add the cream, apple cider vinegar and Calvados and beat again until smooth.   Pour the mixture over the apples and return tart to the oven.   After 10 minutes, sprinkle with confectioners sugar and return to oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is browned.   Serve warm with whipped cream.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

You're invited!

Please join me TODAY at Faraday's Kitchen Store, Lakeway for a festival of apples at my Apples Everywhere Demo.   Lots of samples, different apple varieties to try and lots of door prizes - and it's all FREE.

Noon till three today, Sunday Oct 16th... hope to see you there

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lemon Bundt Cake with Blackberries and Cream

Autumn mornings take me back to my childhood growing up in England.   Though the grass was green, the air was brisk and the leaves were crisp under my feet.   I remember walking to my Primary School in my uniform and drinking a little bottle of milk around 9:30 with a tinfoil lid.   The best memory by far was all the glorious hot lunches we would have.   Our entire class would sit around tables with real silverware while our teacher would serve lots of fresh steamed vegetables along with our meal and we'd finish with the most amazing desserts such as warm Treacle Sponge Pudding with Golden Syrup or Chocolate Sponge Pudding with Custard.   Sometimes we'd get to pour cream on our sponges (cakes) which would make them moist and delicious.   I kept that idea in mind when I put together this recipe, and topped off this wonderful Lemon Bundt Cake with a drizzle of fresh cream.   Perfect along with the blackberries. 

Lemon Bundt Cake with Blackberries and Cream

  • 1 C butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 C sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 C half and half
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 t lemon extract
  • 3/4 C sugar
Directions:    In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in lemon peel. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes longer. Place rack on waxed paper. 

For the glaze, combine all the ingredients then drizzle over the warm cake. Cool completely before serving.  To plate, add fresh blackberries and a drizzle of cream.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup

Now that autumn is FINALLY here in Austin and our temperatures have dropped out of the 100's to a nice 85 degrees, its time to fire up the oven and roast vegetables.   I had a beautiful butternut squash and made a great tasting soup.   For an added variety, we grilled and sliced chicken and added it on top of the soup for a complete meal.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup

  • 1 Butternut Squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 jar prepared fire roasted red peppers
  • 3 T heavy cream
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • creme fraiche
  • thin sliced roasted red pepper strips
  • fresh nutmeg
Directions:   On a large baking tray, toss the squash and onion chunks with a light drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.   Once roasted, remove from oven and cool.

Remove the roasted butternut squash flesh from the skin and place into a blender.   Add the roasted onions, 2 fire roasted red peppers, 3 T heavy cream and 1 C of chicken stock.   Blend to a smooth consistency and transfer to a heavy pot over medium heat.   Slowly add additional chicken stock until the desired thickness is reached.   Taste then season with salt and pepper and make sure to heat thoroughly.

To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and swirl in a little creme fraiche into the center of the bowl.   Top with thin slices of the fire roasted red pepper and dust with freshly grated nutmeg.   Serve with hot crusty bread or embellish with grilled chicken and enjoy!

Fire Roasted Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Mmmmmmm is the only word I can think of when smelling the Hatch green chiles roasting.   I love that smell, as it signifies fall in our area!   Of course when I made these, it was still 100 degrees outside, but it allowed me to envision fall for a few minutes.   The Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas can be frozen - just cover with Saran Wrap then foil, and freeze.   To heat - pull from the freezer and let thaw for 3  hours and place in the oven, following the baking instructions below.   This is the perfect "casserole" to use when bringing meals to someone else.

Fire Roasted Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

  • 4-6 Hatch Green Chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken, meat removed and torn into chunks
  • 1, 15 oz can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1 C chicken stock 
  • 2 C sour cream
  • 3 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/3 C canola oil
Directions:   To fire roast the Hatch green chiles, place whole chiles onto the grill and blister each one black.   Remove from grill and place into a brown paper sack to steam, rolling the top down to seal the bag.   Once cooled, remove from the bag and peel the skin off.   Cut the top off and remove the seeds and chop.   Set aside!
In a large bowl combine the fire roasted chopped chiles, green chile enchilada sauce, chicken stock, sour cream and 2 C of the cheese.   Mix well and set aside 1 C of sauce.   Add the chicken to the large bowl of sauce and mix well.

In a fry pan, heat oil over medium high heat and fry each tortilla, both sides, for about 30 seconds each.   Drain well on paper towels. 

To assemble, add 2 T of reversed sauce to the bottom of a casserole pan.   Add chicken mixture to lower side of each tortilla, roll up and place into pan.   Once all tortillas are rolled, layer with the remainder of the reserved sauce, top with the remaining 1 C of cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until cooked through.   Serve and enjoy!